Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

This week at Whitehorse City Hall

Housing committee sets out work plan

The City of Whitehorse’s new housing and land development advisory committee is getting to work with a proposed work plan that would guide its efforts over the next six months.

The committee was established in 2022 with a mandate to focus on making recommendations to council around city policies and processes that impact land development and housing.

At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 23 meeting, members were presented with a proposed work plan that would prioritize a review of zoning provisions related to housing, look at construction standards and permitting processes.

Council will vote on whether to approve the work plan at its Jan. 30 meeting.

The committee will provide updates to council on a six-month basis, or earlier depending on issues that may come up.

Writing off amounts owed

The City of Whitehorse could write off close to $92,000 in uncollectible accounts.

At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 23 meeting, manager of financial services Svetlana Erickson brought forward a recommendation that council move ahead with a bylaw to write off uncollectible amounts. Such a bylaw comes forward annually and is required under the Municipal Act.

As Erickson explained, accounting practises require such amounts to be written off where there is little likelihood of collection.

The uncollectible accounts include $14,975 in non-Yukon parking tickets (as the city has no way of collecting this through the Yukon government’s motor vehicles department as it does for Yukon vehicles) and another $76,810 in uncollectible bylaw fines.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with the bylaw Jan. 30.

Rezoning proposed

A Finch Road property owner is asking the city for a rezoning that would allow them to build a living suite in their home.

The proposal was brought forward at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 23 meeting with the owners of 10 Finch Cr. also seeking an amendment that would increase the maximum site coverage of their home from 35 per cent to 40 per cent.

“The increased site coverage will support the construction of a one-storey ground level living suite,” Mélodie Simard, the city’s manager of planning and sustainability, stated in a report to council.

The restricted residential zone would be modified to allow for the suite.

Simard pointed out a number of homes in the same zone have been rezoned in recent years to allow for suites.

While that raised the question among council about the possibility of rezoning all four properties in the same area to allow for suites rather than rezoning as applications come up, Simard pointed out the applicants for this property paid a fee for the rezoning application that would need to be refunded if council opted to look at rezoning of the four properties. She also pointed out the proposal for the additional site coverage also makes this application unique.

Council will vote on first reading of the rezoning on Jan. 30. If approved, a public hearing would be held on Feb. 27 with a report on the hearing then expected to come forward March 20. Second and third reading would come forward March 27.

Seeking input

The City of Whitehorse will soon be asking residents for their thoughts on the possibility of housing in Copper Ridge.

In a Jan. 25 statment, the city said as it looks at ways to increase housing in Whitehorse, it is launching a public engagement opportunity to look at city and Yukon government land between the Copper Ridge Place continuing care facility and Falcon Drive.

“This engagement will provide residents the opportunity to give input on what they want to see, and how the city can best meet those needs,” the city said. “It will include discussions with the planning team, surveys, an open house and the creation of two proposed land use concept plans that will be shared once they are complete.”

A Jan. 31 webinar through engagewhitehorse.ca will serve as the launch with a survey to be available after that.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com